School of Informatics

Informatics Alumni Ambassadors

In 2018 the School of Informatics has invited alumni to take part in Post-Offer Visit Days.

POVDs aimed at applicants who received the offer of admission and they are an opportunity for the prospective students to meet teaching staff and current students.

Here they are sharing their experience of the day.

Kolos Kantor

Why did you sign up to be an Alumni Ambassador?

I have so much to thank the University for, in particular the Informatics Department. Signing up to be an Alumni Ambassador is just one of the many ways one can give back in my opinion. I feel it is my duty as a graduate to ensure the University is represented in the best possible light to future and prospective students. I also think it is a great honour to be chosen as one of the Alumni Ambassadors from a pool of literally hundreds of other graduates.

What did you enjoy on the day?

I really liked seeing how the Department has progressed over the years and the improvements that have been instigated since my departure. I couldn't help but feel nostalgic listening to my old lecturers deliver the same material to prospective students that I once heard. It was great for me to see what has changed in the past years and what aspects of the Department remain the same having stood the test of time. 

What did you gain from the experience?

I got to see how students change over the years as well. Future students have different priorities these days than we had 10 years ago. I got to see how prepared and driven people are these days at such an early age because that is the only way to remain competitive in our changing world. Students who want to attend Edinburgh University to study Informatics are amongst the brightest in the country and further afield and thus are the best representations of what youth looks like these days. It is always great to keep an eye on how society changes and what better place to start than university applicants. 

Why do you think it’s important that prospective/current students speak to Alumni?

I think Alumni are a bit more removed from daily life in academia in the sense that their experiences are genuine human stories that lecturers will not be able to convey at a presentation. In my mind there is no better way for current students to prepare for the future than speak to people who are already there. In a way they are talking to a version of themselves several years into the future since we all walk similar paths in our lives guided by our choices, such as studying Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

Patricia Dragan

Why did you sign up to be an Alumni Ambassador?

I signed up to be an ambassador because i still feel quite close to the University where I grew up as an adult, and I am reminded that part of me misses the whole experience a little every time i walk past the campus. I enjoyed my time as a student a lot, and I learned one or more things about how the world works. I felt the need to share my experiences and all the good things that the university shed light upon in my life, especially because i appreciated it myself as a student when people who have graduated themselves came to network with us, and share the secrets to post academic life. I also enjoy expanding my social circle, I feel that meeting people and talking face to face matters more than a thought shared over the internet. I have had moments in the past where students were recognising me from open day events and said ‘hi’ to me, and it did fill me up with joy that I made a difference in that person's life, which is what I am hoping to do further as well: help current and future students embrace what the University and City of Edinburgh have to offer, with all of their vibrant cultural and intellectual values.

What did you enjoy on the day?

I enjoyed sharing my experiences with others, chatting to the future students, trying to encourage them to be positive about what the future has to offer. I try to be transparent and share my honest thoughts about what it's like to study here, to live in the city, of course I personally enjoyed my time a lot, and there is no other University I would have rather gone to, but I do try to make a parallel to what it is like in general to start your journey somewhere new, where you might not know anyone, where not just the city, but the country itself might be completely foreign. Spending that short amount of time after the talks with students, I got to know them a little more, and I enjoyed sharing some thoughts and learning new facts myself. I also really appreciated networking with the student ambassadors, it's great to see what different career paths people choose, and how varied the university paths can be.

What did you gain from the experience?

I feel that I have expanded my social network, I got to meet great people, both staff from the University, and students, as well as my peers, who helped out on the day, and, lastly, the guests who were all quite excited for the eventful day. I do not do much public speaking in my day to day job at the moment, and i actually really enjoyed talking in front of the guests about what my experience had been like, and I feel that it gives me more confidence every time I have to present something personal that I know very well.

Why do you think it’s important that prospective/current students speak to Alumni?

I think it's important that students speak to Alumni because we can share what it was like for us while we were students, what good and bad choices we had made, what we wish we would have done differently, and hopefully pass our mistakes on as lessons for the generations to follow us. We share our career experiences, how job hunting was for us, what we did to gain and show the right skills to right people. Each one of us has followed a different path, and every single one of my old peers does something exciting with their life at the moment, using knowledge gained from our time at the university. Adulthood is very scary when you have to walk more or less on your own, without as much guidance from academic staff and friends, and us, as alumni are here to boost up confidence and positivity and open up opportunities for the younger millennials to go explore, and learn from what we have done and knowledge we offer.

Mona Paun

Why did you sign up to be an Alumni Ambassador?

I wanted to help my school a little if I could.

What did you enjoy on the day?

I enjoyed attending the presentation about what people who graduated in the last few years are up to and seeing how the campus and the university buildings have changed since I graduated.

What did you gain from the experience?

I got to listen to the stories of the other Alumni Ambassadors present there.

Why do you think it’s important that prospective/current students speak to Alumni?

I think current students should hear what previous students wish they have done differently and what were the best decisions Alumni took during their degree. When you start a degree you have to process a huge amount of information and you have to make a lot of decisions very fast, and, sometimes, a story from somebody who was in the same position a few years ago might help.

 

Would you like to become our Alumni Ambassador?

Contact the Informatics Communications team!

Contact Infcomms